In 2011, Rhode Island State Police benefited from a portion of a $500 million settlement from Google after it was reported the company allowed Canadian advertisements for controlled and non-controlled drugs in the U.S.
Now, the agency’s use of that money is under review by the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ’s review looks at the use of funds as far back as 2013.
State Police spokeswoman Laura Kirk said the agency is cooperating with the investigation and hopes to resolve the issue quickly.
State Police head Colonel Ann Assumpico has worked closely with the DOJ to make sure all procedures are properly followed when requesting payments from this fund, according to Kirk.
Assumpico assumed leadership of the State Police late last year, and declined comment on the actions under previous leadership.
In the meantime, very little changes for the State Police. The DOJ is releasing $1.5 million for some infrastructure improvements including roughly $1.3 million for Lincoln Wood Barracks’ renovations and $99,144 to improve the State Police Academy’s firing range. The remainder will be used for the relocation and new equipment for the Computer Crimes Unit.
As far as a controversial ‘no bid’ $225,000 contract granted to a Chicago consultant to find ways to diversify recruitment classes, Kirk says the assessment will continue for the next couple of months.
“It's our hope that the DOJ review will be successfully concluded by then. Otherwise, those costs will be absorbed elsewhere in our budget,” said Kirk in a statement.